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[From the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Vol. vi.5 p. 195.]
[Read May 27, 1852.]
THE author was led into the researches detailed in this paper by considering a very singular phenomenon which Sir John Herschel had discovered in the case of a weak solution of sulphate of quinine, and various other salts of the same alkaloid. This fluid appears colourless and transparent, like water, when viewed by transmitted light, but exhibits in certain aspects a peculiar
blue colour.    Sir John Herschel found that when the fluid was                       t ^
illuminated by a beam of ordinary daylight, the blue light was                       ;||
produced only throughout a very thin stratum of fluid adjacent to                       r
the surface by which the light entered.    It was unpolarized.    It                       $\
passed freely through many inches of the fluid.    The incident                       If
beam, after having passed through the stratum from which the                       If
blue light came, was not sensibly enfeebled nor coloured, but yet                       '4
it had lost the power of producing the usual blue colour when                        '!,
admitted into a solution of sulphate of quinine.    A beam of light                       *;'
modified in this mysterious manner was called by Sir John Herschel                       ffi
epipolized.                                                                                                          ^
Several years before Sir David Brewster had discovered in the                        ", f
case of an alcoholic solution of the green colouring matter of                        ^:
leaves a very remarkable phenomenon, which he has designated                        ';;Jj
* [As the paper in question is of considerable length, and contains a good deal                                ,jjj
of detail, it seemed desirable in this case to reprint the abstract as well as the                                |||1
paper itself.     In the abstract the reader will find in  short compass the more                                j(*
important of the results contained in the paper.]                                                                                      },'
172                              V